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Thread: Shell Rotella T 15W40 Engine Oil

  1. #1
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Default Shell Rotella T 15W40 Engine Oil

    Hey folks. I had to partially tear down my engine to change some gaskets.

    These pictures are of the engine as it was when opened up. Nothing has been sprayed, wiped, or in any way cleaned. The engine has about 120,000 miles and more than 5 years on the build.

    I have exclusively used Shell Rotella T 15W40 oil in this engine, from the first fill to present. The change interval has been 4000 miles, with a few 5000+ mile "oops" late changes.

    This makes me very happy to see. There is not any sludge in the engine. There is just BARELY some varnish on the bottom of the intake, below the EGR passage.

    The rocker pivots, pushrod ends and cam lobes (roller) all appear perfect. Cylinder walls still have good cross-hatch. The Turbonetics GTK450 ball bearing turbocharger still feels like new as far as shaft play goes.

    This is a daily driver, running 15+ PSI boost when called upon. It has open-loop only speed-density tune with lean-burn highway mode enabled. The engine is LG3 variant of the Buick 3.8SFI V6. This is the 'front wheel drive' 86 - 87 spec engine with factory roller cam.

    I will continue using this oil. Just wanted to share my experience.

    Sincerely,

    David




    This is the only area with noticeable varnish:






    Cylinder bores still have good honing crosshatch pattern. This attests to the K&N oiled cotton air filter as well as the oil.


    The intake valves. No noticeable deposits. This engine has never had any sort of injector cleaner or top-end cleaner used in it. It has had mostly Shell / Chevron / BP 93 octane gasoline, whenever I can get those.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    David,

    My grandfather, who worked for CAT until the mid-80's always used the Rotella (for Diesel use) in his fleet. He last had a '75 Wagoneer with a 401 V8, and...a '89 Renault LeCar with a bitty, I think it was 1.2 litre 4. I can't recall, and he's not here anymore to ask, but I don't believe he bought it retail. Not sure.

    He swore by the stuff.

    Ken T.

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    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Century7667 View Post
    David,

    My grandfather, who worked for CAT until the mid-80's always used the Rotella (for Diesel use) in his fleet. He last had a '75 Wagoneer with a 401 V8, and...a '89 Renault LeCar with a bitty, I think it was 1.2 litre 4. I can't recall, and he's not here anymore to ask, but I don't believe he bought it retail. Not sure.

    He swore by the stuff.

    Ken T.
    Yep - another believer. I posted this same thread on the Turbo Buick forums and MANY Buick Grand National enthusiasts also use it and have great results.

    Now, Cat sells their own brand of oil (Cat DEO) which is ultra-convenient for us (as Cat dealer personnel) to order and use. We use that; but many many customers use the Rotella.

    Just to further drive this home - Shell Co. (corporate owner of Rotella name) owns offshore facilities to process natural gas from the gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico. On their own platforms they use Rotella for the diesel generator engines. They could use anything - even special blends not available to the public... but they choose the same Rotella we use in our cars.

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    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    Yep - another believer. I posted this same thread on the Turbo Buick forums and MANY Buick Grand National enthusiasts also use it and have great results.

    Now, Cat sells their own brand of oil (Cat DEO) which is ultra-convenient for us (as Cat dealer personnel) to order and use. We use that; but many many customers use the Rotella.

    Just to further drive this home - Shell Co. (corporate owner of Rotella name) owns offshore facilities to process natural gas from the gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico. On their own platforms they use Rotella for the diesel generator engines. They could use anything - even special blends not available to the public... but they choose the same Rotella we use in our cars.
    That's pretty re-assuring that the same Rotella is in use for the professional stuff. Isn't DEO sounds a lot like Chevron Delo...but isn't Chevron part of Shell anyway?

    Ken T.

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    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    The change interval has been 4000 miles...not any sludge in the engine.
    I normally do hot oil changes, and these vehicles show no sludge in pan. One farm truck, 1980 GMC with 366-V8, had a clean pan when I took it off the other year; and the oil/filter change is every year.

    Rotella is good, but today's "premium oils" are also good. Changing oil/filter definitely preserves an engine.

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    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    I will continue using this oil....
    FWIW...Shell ROTELLA® T5 Synthetic Blend - Provides excellent wear protection, well beyond the recommended oil drain interval of 50,000 miles demonstrated through oil analysis during millions of miles of field testing. So you can rest assured that Shell ROTELLA® T5 10W-30 will protect your engine like a heavier viscosity engine oil such as Shell ROTELLA® T4 15W-40.

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    Senior Member Old Gold's Avatar
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    Very cool David and awesome to hear!

    I'm a big fan of Rotella 15W-40 myself. I use it in the fleet of vintage motorcycles I maintain (no bad, wet-clutch affecting additives) as well as a bunch of other applications (Generators, lawn-equipment etc.). I also use full-synthetic Rotella T-6 in my big Kawasaki with a relatively high-revving (11k RPM) inline 4. In all it's iterations, Rotella oil seems to be the bees knees! I'm glad you were able to find great empirical evidence in your 3800.
    1985 Chevy Celebrity Sedan (2.8-X, THM125, JA2, F41)
    1954 Chevy 3100 Pickup (235 I-6, SM420)
    1994 Toyota Camry LE Coupe (2.2, A140)

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    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Gold View Post
    Very cool David and awesome to hear!

    I'm a big fan of Rotella 15W-40 myself. I use it in the fleet of vintage motorcycles I maintain (no bad, wet-clutch affecting additives) as well as a bunch of other applications (Generators, lawn-equipment etc.). I also use full-synthetic Rotella T-6 in my big Kawasaki with a relatively high-revving (11k RPM) inline 4. In all it's iterations, Rotella oil seems to be the bees knees! I'm glad you were able to find great empirical evidence in your 3800.
    I've been reading some interesting things about some of these DOHC V6 motors lately (especially Ecoboost), and apparently wear is a BIG deal on the chains and cam phasers. Some of suggested Rotella and ignoring the OLM (going back to strict 5,000 mile intervals or less). It seems that oil is being pushed to its limits again.

    Ken T.

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    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Century7667 View Post
    ...going back to strict 5,000 mile intervals or less...
    Huh?

    "Frequent idling for long periods of time, such as stop-and-go driving in heavy traffic, or sustained highway driving in hot weather, can make it essential to change the engine oil and oil filter at 3,500 mile or three-month intervals."

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    I love the shell oil, I run it in my 1997 chevy 6.5 turbo diesel and my 1942 WWII dodge WC52...reduces wear a lot and better oil pressure

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    Another Rotella T believer here! Use it in just about everything I own, and it is my favorite go-to oil for maintaining customer vehicles/equipment/boats. It is good stuff! Being a Diesel grade oil, it is turbo friendly, handles heat well without coking...has a lot of the good stuff in it for our old school engines that most of the modern oils don't because of those pesky catalytic converters and emissions equipment, and its fairly cheap! Only oil I've found that's better is what I put in my race engines...Valvoline VR-1 Racing oil, but with prices pushing $9/quart now...it definitely gets used sparingly, lol. I've also put the Valvoline in severely worn engines over the years that had pretty moderate rod/main knock at startup and piston slap from worn cylinders with 5w/10w oil in the pan....put the Valvoline in and no more noise! Oil pressure came back up to where it should be and prolonged their lives much farther than expected....one in particular was a daily driver/tow rig that ran for another 2 years before it was finally pulled out. No, I'm not pushing either product, just putting in my .02 and sharing my experiences. Put me on the list of Rotella T supporters too! Love that stuff!

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    Senior Member Moonkilla1's Avatar
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    I plan on giving Shell Rotella 10w-30 a shot but I have recently sprung an oil leak ( slow leak). I cant put my finger on where its coming from so I thought about putting a quart or 2 or RP in to change the color and see if I can spot the exact location . It was just an idea that came to mind b4 trying Rotella.

    Any objections to this idea or problems it could cause?

    The car has been using Pennzoil 10w-30 high mileage and Wix filters for a while now but David’s pictures and the praise on Rotella are hard to ignore. im pretty sure I wont be dissapointed

    Carlos
    “Teach your young children to work, and teach them that honest labor develops dignity and self-respect. Help them to find pleasure in work and to feel the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.”

    -Joseph B. Wirthlin

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    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the 15W-40 would probably help things as far leaks go. I'd take the plunge!

    Ken T.

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